Under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions announced by the Victorian Government, criminal defence law practices like ‘Galbally Parker Lawyers’ remain Open (for on-site work) so long as we have a COVID-Safe plan in order to keep our workplace and clients safe. The following is our COVID-Safe plan:

  • We will have a lawyer in the office every day during Court hours to accommodate any urgent bail or remand matters and to accept service of briefs of evidence and mail, in circumstances where it is inappropriate to receive these documents at home and, often, they can only be received in physical form (ie letters from clients in custody). Lawyers will exercise social distancing and hygiene precautions.
  • There will be no more than 2 lawyers present in the office at any one time, unless absolutely necessary. ‘Absolutely necessary’ is defined as an attendance at the office to the extent necessary to support the functioning of a Court, Tribunal or Dispute Service. Accordingly, if 3 lawyers have physical Court Appearances in the Melbourne CBD, their presence is permitted, so long as they are wearing masks whilst in the office together.
  • We will suspend all physical conferencing effective immediately. Whilst we are an essential service and will receive an on-site permit, our clients who want to attend for physical conferences will be committing an offence if they are outside of their 5km mandated radius because attendance at our office is not strictly necessary. We cannot encourage that conduct under the relevant Conduct Rules. We can facilitate conferences in all of the other socially distanced ways. 
  • Appropriate measures have been taken to promote hand hygiene. There are hand sanitising stations in the building foyer, in our foyer, at reception, in every office and in every bathroom. The bathrooms also have soap.
  • Appropriate measures are being take to avoid the spread of vaporised virus droplets and particles. Three air purifiers have been installed. One in the foyer and two in the office. There are surgical masks available at reception and they should be utilised.
  • With respect to cleaning and disinfecting, there is Glen 20 and antibacterial wipes at reception and the photocopier, which are the only high contact areas of the office. The office surfaces are cleaned daily with disinfectant, along with the door handles to reception and elevator buttons.
  • With respect to record keeping, any person who attends at our office (with the exception of the postal service) is required to have their temperature taken and to complete a declaration that will include their temperature and also confirm that they are not subject to quarantine provisions, required to self-isolate, have cold and flu symptoms and that they have not come into contact with any person who has or is subject to any of the above. If a person registers a temperature of 37.5 or higher, they are to be provided with a mask and asked to leave.  The records of attendances will be provided to the health department if called upon.
  • We do not accept ‘walk ins’ and, if a person attends unannounced, they should be asked to sanitise their hands, wear a mask and make an appointment with a lawyer via zoom or telephone.

Galbally Parker Lawyers,

Dated 5 August 2020